Bridey Heing
May 14, 2015 9:50 am

There’s something so gratifying about looking at pictures of things perfectly arranged. One viral image that’s making the rounds of the Internet taps into that weird place of calm and contentment, with a twist.

What you’re looking at is a perfectly spaced grid of 98 different foods, all cut to a 2.5 x 2.5 cm cube. All the foods used are unprocessed and the image is completely real. No manipulation went into making this — can you imagine how much time it took to get everything lined up?

The image was created by Lernert & Sander, a design studio in the Netherlands for Dutch newspaper De Volkskrant’s special food photography issue. This isn’t the first time the studio worked with food in a fascinating way. In fact, their first project was a 2007 film in which they melted a bunch of chocolate bunnies. That video is also weirdly satisfying, albeit a little creepy.

But back to the food at hand. Why is it so much fun to look at this picture? There’s actually some science behind it.

Kathleen Vohs, a marketing professor at the Carlson School of Management at the University of Minnesota, told CNN: “Clutter is very stressful on people’s psychology, and there have been a number of studies that have looked at what clutter does to people’s minds, and from that we can take the perspective that things that are tightly organized are going to have the opposite effect.”

It all comes down to the way our brain sorts what we see. By putting things together in a neat and organized way, we’re giving the brain something new to process. And of course, there’s just something calming about everything being nicely set up and free of clutter.

Add in the extra of incentive of snacks and we’re totally sold.

(Images via Lernert & Sander)